Deciding to become a freelancer isn’t an easy decision to make and there are many things to consider before taking the leap.
In her book, Out of Office, Fiona Thomas tells you all you need to know before ditching the 9 to 5.
What You Should Know Before Becoming a Freelancer
Everyone talks about leaps of faith.
“Do it! Just jump!”
Well, that’s all very encouraging, but if you were about to jump, wouldn’t you do a few routine checks first?
You know, make sure your shoelaces are tied and that there’s no hungry alligators plotting your demise from further down the river?
I know I would.
With that in mind, here are some things you should consider before your Olympic medal-worthy leap into freelancing.
Who Are You?
If you want to freelance well, you need to be closely in tune with yourself.
Even seemingly irrelevant information such as what time of the day you get most hungry will help you lead a more fulfilled and successful working life.
TIP: Read Work Simply: Embracing the Power of Your Personal Productivity Style by Carson Tate.
This title will help you to identify your preferred style of working, in addition to offering insight into task management.
Self-Motivation Is Key
Whatever your personality type, freelancing is going to require you to be a good leader.
Did you think that being a team of one would get you out of boardroom duties? Think again.
There is only one person who can set the tone for your business and it’s you. If you want to be your own boss, then you’re going to have to do just that. Be the boss.
Motivating yourself is quite easy in the beginning, but it can start to suffer if you don’t pay close attention to it.
Time Is our Currency (Take That To The Bank)
Freelancing is seen as a luxury to some, a lifestyle choice that leaves you with more free time than if you were in an office.
However, this is a misconception.
As a freelancer you are constrained by the amount of time you have to complete the work that needs doing.
This means that it’s easy to forget to give yourself a break. It can become progressively more difficult to differentiate between “work time” and “relaxation time”.
In order to freelance successfully, you need to keep on top of everything, whilst making sure you know how to take a step back when you need to.
Remember, protecting your time is just as important as having a cryptic password for your online banking.
“You wouldn’t let anyone steal your earnings,
so don’t let anyone rob you of your time.”
Non-Freelancers Wont always ‘Get It’
Being a freelancer has enabled me to have more control over my working life, which I love.
However, I was not prepared for its impact on my personal life. It has dramatically changed people’s expectations of me, and this social stigma was a challenging aspect.
However, one of the primary reasons I decided to go freelance was for the sake of my mental health.
I wanted the ability to ride out bad days at home, in private, without having to explain to others why I didn’t do any work that day or why I would be making up the hours at the weekend.
I wanted the option to stay in bed and work there if that’s how I felt, and I wanted to be able to sob as and when required without needing to hide in the bathroom to cover my shame.
Freelancing isn’t for everybody.
But it can be a life-changing alternative to a 9-5 desk job, if having a flexible home schedule is for you.
Extract from Out of Office by Fiona Thomas (Trigger Publishing £7.99)